GREENSBORO, N.C. — Today is National Take Your Parents to the Playground Day. We know that children love to play with anything and everything, from car keys to dressing up in mom and dad's closets. Parents should jump into playing with their kids as there are many benefits.
Play provides a natural platform for parents and children to interact socially and talk to one another outside of parents being parents. When parents are in parent mode, there's a lot of structured time, such as getting ready for school and daily chores and responsibilities. Playing involves an unstructured, informal time for parents and kids to talk, joke around, listen, and understand each other's perspectives. Children can also strengthen social skills such as taking turns and problem solving such as following the leader.
Regarding cognitive development, play increases imagination, creativity, and critical thinking skills. When parents play with their kids, they ask questions and show different ways of playing, such as with toys, stimulating their kid's curiosity. Positive reinforcement from parents can encourage kids to try things they might otherwise wouldn't. For example, kids might want to swing higher on a swing or jump over a puddle. Or, by playing board games, parents can show their kids different strategies.
A by-product for parents is that playing with their kids is a stress reliever. It's a break from the daily grind where you can unwind from everyday pressures and let go of stress. This means that you feel calmer, and your stress levels will decrease.
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